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Federal Court Kills Net Neutrality, Says FCC Lacks Authority.

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the we'll-have-to-agree-to-disagree dept.

The Courts 383

An anonymous reader writes "According to a report from Gizmodo, a U.S. Appeals Court has invalidated the FCC's Net Neutrality rules. From the decision: 'Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.' Could this be the final nail in the coffin for Net Neutrality? Or will the FCC fight back? This submitter really, really hopes they fight back..."

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383 comments

See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952085)

See what happens when leftists are left with their hands in the cookie jar? Fraud, abuse of power, general asshatedness.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (0, Offtopic)

emagery (914122) | about 7 months ago | (#45952133)

Sigh... if only 'lefties' hadn't been blocked from appointing justices for so long... *facepalm*

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952335)

Sigh... if only the 'lefty" judges assigned to this case hadn't AGREED WITH VERIZON...

Seriously, apparently the only dissenting opinion is from the Reagan appointee

Re: See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952185)

Isn't the appeals court is ruled by the Bush judges? Right-wing? :o

Re: See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (5, Insightful)

Antipater (2053064) | about 7 months ago | (#45952271)

That depends on which Appeals Court it is. There are thirteen of them.

Re: See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952385)

And yet the only dissenting opinion in this case came from a Reagan appointee... :o

leftists.... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952995)

Reagan was a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by today's standards.....

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952203)

See what happens when leftists are left with their hands in the cookie jar? Fraud, abuse of power, general asshatedness.

As opposed to when the people on the right are left with their hands in the cookie jar ... Fraud, abuse of power, general asshatedness.

Sorry there, dumbass, but politicians of all stripes are douchebags.

The ones on the right just pander more to large corporations and their drinking buddies, to the detriment of all of us.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952619)

Lol, if only that was true, since the current administration, which is so far left, has completely pandered to every huge corporation...but keep spewing...

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45952681)

No, they just pander to *different* large corporations. Though there are plenty of areas pandered to by both.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#45953153)

Sadly there is NO left or right wing in the USSA anymore and hasn't been for several decades. What we have is "pro media fascists" and "pro wall street fascists" and that is it, the so-called "left" is just as fascist as the right the ONLY difference is one is pro media cartel while the other leans more towards Wall street. Oh and one gets a really big stiffie when they can kick a poor person, but that's really it.

As the late great Bill Hicks put it over 20 years ago "I think the puppet on the left shares MY beliefs, well i think the puppet on the right has MY interests at heart...hey wait a minute, there is one guy working both puppets!"

Re: See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952205)

Thanks Obama!!!!

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (5, Insightful)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about 7 months ago | (#45952229)

Generally speaking the idea of anti-Net Neutrality is an anti-business, conservative idea. It "stifles" the "free market" by forcing regulations on businesses. The conservative's "free market" approach would be to let ISPs decide if they want to charge on a per-site basis and let consumers go to other ISPs who will simply do the same thing.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952477)

The conservative's "free market" approach would be to let ISPs decide if they want to charge on a per-site basis and let consumers go to other ISPs who will simply do the same thing.

Sure, but the conservative's "free market" approach would also leave it up to companies to decide if they want to pollute, allow car dealers to lock out Tesla (because they don't want competition), absolve Monsanto from liability, further deregulate the financial industry to allow Wall Street to rob us like they were doing before the '08 meltdown, and further extending copyright.

In other words, more crony-capitalism where the rich are free to make backroom deals which benefit them, and which harm the rest of us, and the 'freedom' of the market mostly restricted to big players who paid off the politicians.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (4, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | about 7 months ago | (#45952613)

allow car dealers to lock out Tesla

No, this requires government interference with the free market (legislation against Tesla's business model). In a free market, Tesla could... *cough* MAR-KET freely to whomever.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about 7 months ago | (#45952729)

Yeah, it took legislation to stop Tesla from selling in Texas. They were doing fine before that.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952845)

No, this requires government interference with the free market

Yes, by conservative lawmakers who claim to be proponents of a "free" market, when in fact they're in proponents of crony-capitalism.

In other words, the conservatives braying about a free market (which is a myth) are full of shit (which isn't a myth).

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952691)

Right, the point was that no leftist is involved here. Defeating net neutrality is not a left leaning idea, it's a right leaning idea.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1, Troll)

tomhath (637240) | about 7 months ago | (#45952865)

You don't understand the root cause of the financial crisis. Clinton tried to encourage home ownership among lower income brackets by forcing banks to make a certain percentage of their mortgages to those borrowers (can you say "quota"?). In order to make that happen he changed the laws on how mortgages were approved with his National Homeownership Strategy. None of that came from conservatives or Wall Street. It was a liberal agenda run amok.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45953139)

You don't understand the root cause of the financial crisis. Clinton tried to encourage home ownership among lower income brackets by forcing banks to make a certain percentage of their mortgages to those borrowers (can you say "quota"?). In order to make that happen he changed the laws on how mortgages were approved with his National Homeownership Strategy. None of that came from conservatives or Wall Street. It was a liberal agenda run amok.

Mortgage-backed securities were not a Clinton idea. They were a banking scam for which they got away with the crime. Every American should be outraged by that.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45953189)

None of that came from conservatives or Wall Street.

You're missing the part where Wall Street and their cronies passed off junk debt as if it was AAA secured and sold it to everybody else, thereby making shitty debts incurred in the US the problem of everybody else on the planet.

That people with lousy credit were being given mortgages, sure, that could have been Clinton.

That the turd that was that bad debt was polished (laundered) and misrepresented as good quality, that is squarely on the financial corporations, the greedy assholes on Wall Street, and the Republicans who have been gutting the banking laws designed to prevent such things.

But don't think for a minute that if the financial companies hadn't LIED and sold their bad debt to other people, that the meltdown would have happened.

Essentially the US turned their bad debt into a global ponzi scheme. And when it collapsed, everyone else was left holding the bag except the people responsible. Essentially the US financial system committed wholesale FRAUD on the rest of the world.

Don't believe me? Google for "Asset Backed Paper Commodities". It wasn't the existence of bad debt, it was off-loading that to others in a fraudulent and dishonest manner which caused the financial meltdown of '08, otherwise it would have been restricted to just the US.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (2)

gfxguy (98788) | about 7 months ago | (#45952781)

That's not true (nor is the AC response to your post). My initial knee jerk reaction was certainly that it's anti-business and over regulation (read that again - over regulation is a problem; regulation might be needed, but over-regulation is bad). But after giving it some thought, I am completely on board with the idea of net neutrality. I am my ISP's customer, not the content provider. If Netflix is using my ISP's bandwidth, it's because I, as the customer, requested it - and I'm paying for it. If my ISP doesn't like how I'm using the service that I am paying for, their beef is with me.

The obvious reason they want to go after the content provider is because then their internal competitor to the service (in this case, video streaming) gets an unfair advantage... even if they're "paying," it's only "funny money" if they are owned by the same parent company. If, however, they went after me, then both services are equally penalized. That's a second strike in favor of net neutrality.... what the ISPs want is obviously anti-competitive... that is NOT something a free market person supports. I MIGHT support "anti" net neutrality if the ISP was barred from competing against services that they would otherwise be charging access fees for... but even then my former complaint is still valid.

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952341)

Hey! Lefties are just as capable as righties. Sure, we might need special scissors, but, damn it, we're people too!

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | about 7 months ago | (#45952631)

Breaking my no AC rule

I thought, like gingers, lefties have no soul?

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 7 months ago | (#45952775)

Just because our souls are black and twisted doesn't mean they don't exist! *pout*

Re:See what happens when leftists are in Charge? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952923)

AC to preserve mods. Sorry, I had to mod this insightful to torment my left-handed wife. She says she's more likely to be president, I say I'm more likely to live into my 80's. I guess both statements are correct.

common carrier (5, Insightful)

Spazmania (174582) | about 7 months ago | (#45952087)

It's past time to just classify them as common carriers and stop trying to make an end-run around the rules.

Re:common carrier (3, Interesting)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 7 months ago | (#45952343)

This always seemed like the obvious move.

Can someone explain why they didn't just do this instead? Does this classification require legislation or something?

Re:common carrier (3, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | about 7 months ago | (#45952381)

It isn't 100% clear that an ISP would have the authority to boot spammers if it was classified as a common carrier. They probably would but it isn't certain.

Re:common carrier (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45952441)

running robodialers gets you usually the boot... as seen on simpsons.

Re:common carrier (2)

Krojack (575051) | about 7 months ago | (#45952649)

You could always throttle them down to 1byte/s =)

Re:common carrier (1)

Krojack (575051) | about 7 months ago | (#45952663)

On better yet, 1 bit.

Re:common carrier (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 7 months ago | (#45953147)

how about a half a bit? They can only send half a one or half a zero at a time. That should be quite effective at throttling them.

Re:common carrier (4, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | about 7 months ago | (#45952737)

Does this classification require legislation or something?

Hopefully. After all, bureaucrats shouldn't be able to just pass any regulations they feel like. Instead, they should be bound by the bills that the Congress passes and the President signs.

Likewise, the Courts should not invent new law based upon their own feelings of what's Right and Wrong, but on the actual text of Laws and the Constitution.

Re:common carrier (4, Informative)

Spazmania (174582) | about 7 months ago | (#45953159)

The legislation required was passed decades ago. The FCC has the authority to designate a communications service either a common carrier or an information service.

Re:common carrier (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#45952833)

That is a good question. From what I gather, who counts as a 'Common Carrier' does not require legislative changes, courts and regulators define it.

Cable versus Broadcast (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952641)

I was reading an article that says Google is going to move into the travel price search bussiness (thus destroying SABRE, and Expedia, and Orbitz). The airlines are excited since the fewer fees they pay the more differences in efficiency contribute to the price. IN both cases google is able to compete with professional bussinesses in this area because they are getting paid from advertising and selling customer data, while the travel companies earn money from fees. so google can do it for "free", and thus wins.

SO what does this have to do with todays topic. Well this:

Which is better in your opinion, broadcast TV, which pays for itself with Ads. or Cable TV which soaks you heavily each month? It's not just that cable has more or better content. Even in the early days, before there was a lot specialized productions for cable, the draw was a lack of ads.

If net neutrality goes away, then we are going to the cable company model. a few conclomerates will offer suites of services. people like google may even have to pay to offer their wares. (that's a given--- everyone has to pay the gate keeper in some way when there's not competition).

But will this be bad-- would you rather have ad driven content that is "free", or curated content that is paid for by you or the seller.

for cable TV apparently people like the curated paid model. So why not on the internet?

Re:Cable versus Broadcast (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#45952867)

I would rather be able to choose my ISP from a rich selection of carriers and not have other ISPs (or my own) interfere with my communicating with businesses.

Re:Cable versus Broadcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952891)

Because, just like cable TV, they'll end up getting soaked each month AND having to watch ads. The fear/assumption is that the promised benefits will lose out to the opportunity for profit.

-almitydave

Re:common carrier (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about 7 months ago | (#45952673)

I really don't like this pattern in Obama administration - always seems to go for a convoluted roundabout approach to get at the goal without tackling the fundamental issues involved. Obama care, gay issues, NSA, appointment/corporate lobbying, and this thing.

The man is a lawyer-thinking machine.

Re:common carrier (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#45952719)

It's called "compromise". You have to do it to get anything done in DC. Nobody is king (except maybe those with deep pockets, who buy laws).

Re:common carrier (2)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#45952893)

The administration is too weak and fragmented to push simple legislation through, anything they do is going to be heavy on horse trading and bickering.

Re:common carrier (1)

iwbcman (603788) | about 7 months ago | (#45952783)

Bingo!

Choice of providers? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952113)

There's a comment in the article stating that the court found the FCC regulations are not needed because consumers have a choice in broadband providers. That argument always make me shake my head. I have one broadband option - Comcast. Verizon FIOS isn't here. I suspect most people are actually in the same boat as me. There really is no viable broadband option to my local cable provider. Who/where are these people that have these so-called choices?

Re:Choice of providers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952315)

You have a choice, you can choose to move to where there is a different ISP.

Re:Choice of providers? (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#45952369)

You have a choice, you can choose to move to where there is a different ISP.

Like Canada.

Re:Choice of providers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952537)

You have a choice, you can choose to move your face from where my fist is.

Comcast has a choice too, it can choose to not fuck with the internet. Now that the government can't tell it what to do, we'll see if they choose... poorly.

Re:Choice of providers? (3, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 7 months ago | (#45953091)

I second this sentiment. Where I live, there's Comcast, or there's essentially nothing. The only other in-home option I'd have would be to get landline phone service and an analog modem, and enjoy 1990's style dialup at a maximum of 28.8kbps (yes, no 56k, even), and I'd pay total more than I'm paying Comcast for 8mbps cable modem access.

Many people either use a cellphone or use VOIP in some form or another. It's time to declare internet service providers a Public Utility and be done with it. You can't even effectively get a job anymore unless you have access to the internet! Even your cellphone is useless without the internet! How many people still pay their gas and electric bills through snail mail? Not many, I'll bet you. It's time!

Re:Choice of providers? (1)

countach74 (2484150) | about 7 months ago | (#45952473)

It is odd that they would cite consumer choice between competing ISP's, which doesn't exist because of the "natural monopoly" status granted to "utilities."

Re:Choice of providers? (4, Informative)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45952755)

No, that's a franchise monopoly.

A natural monopoly isn't granted, it's simply the situation that occurs when economic factors hand such an advantage to incumbents that no other may effectively compete.

Franchise monopoly: City government goes to Big Cable Co and says 'you, and only you, are permitted to run cables in this city.'
Natural monopoly: Big Cable Co invests in a load of cable-laying. As they are the only choice, they secure every subscriber. When others wish to enter the market, they realize that they'd also have to spend just as much in cable-laying, but that everyone who wants internet service is already a Big Cable Co customer, and switching is a lot of trouble - there's no way they could make back the cost of digging up the roads and laying cable as a newcomer to the market.

Re:Choice of providers? (3, Informative)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#45952715)

I have exactly two options. AT&T (whose fastest speed in my area, last time I checked, was 6mbps) and Comcast, which is my only option for anything over 6mpbs.

So yeah, whole lotta competition to choose from.

Re:Choice of providers? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#45952803)

Generally you need roughly at least 7 competitors to get decent choice, in my experience. Any fewer, and they mutually slack in order to mutually fleece customers.

Re:Choice of providers? (3, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | about 7 months ago | (#45952915)

Maybe your area is too rural to support more than one broadband provider, just like it might be too rural to support more than one freeway, or gas station, or supermarket, or school. Some things are more economical in cities, so consider the lack of broadband providers one of the costs of living close to nature.

Or maybe your neighborhood signed a contract with a broadband provider that prevents others from competing. Such contracts ought to be illegal, but they aren't. Until the FCC makes such contracts illegal, if such a contract is in force in your community, you should lobby your community representative to end that contract.

Meanwhile, you're always free to setup a community broadband co-op. Just don't ask the city to pay for it or the incumbent communication company will have a fit.

Re:Choice of providers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45953161)

If the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area is considered too rural, I need a new lesson in geography and demographics. Where I live I'm too far from the CO for DSL leaving only one wired option - comcast cable. A microwave or satellite link might be possible if I can get a permit to clear cut all the nearby trees, but those options present serious latency issues.

Re:Choice of providers? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 7 months ago | (#45952919)

Maybe they were given out dated documents from back when DSL providers were required to allow other ISPs on their lines and consumers had a rich selection of choices?

It's dead (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#45952115)

It's dead, it died years ago.

This page cannot be found (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45952125)

smallwebsite.ext cannot be found. Please verify you have bribed your ISP to allow access, and that you have typed the domain correctly.

If you are still having trouble, try being a larger corporation again later.

Re:This page cannot be found (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952909)

"TLD" now stands for "Top Legal Dollar" :)

Give me net neutrality or give me death.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952173)

Nuff said.

Re:Give me net neutrality or give me death.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952961)

Since you accept death as alternative, I'm sure an arrangement can be found. ;-)

Free market.. (5, Funny)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 7 months ago | (#45952187)

The free market, especially in the broadband sector, has shown time and again, across all state lines, through cities, and in local neighborhoods, to be a fair, equal-service provider to all customers.

When I had Cox Cable, and they were the only provider available other than Dial Up, i was treated with respect, my calls were answered promptly, and my network node was NOT overloaded for months.

As soon as Verizon FIOS moved in, however, it was hell. Prices doubled, speeds were cut to 1/5th what they used to be, and service calls took 2 weeks longer to get answers on...

I, for one, wish they'd bring back the monopoly carrier. At least then I was treated fairly. I mean, just look at what Google is doing -- they moved in, and prices went up 3-4x ! and the speeds are 10x slower!

Re:Free market.. (-1, Offtopic)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45952257)

See, it makes your point diluted that we have to determine you're being sarcastic from information we don't actually possess(the story of your own town and providers). It isn't until the end of your rant that we get the first obviously contrary information, and it hurts the pacing of your comment. I'm the last person in the world who should be providing writing advice, but it really hurt your joke this time.

Re:Free market.. (4, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 7 months ago | (#45952407)

I loved the sarcasm, it was not immediately obvious -- which is absolutely the best kind.

Granted, on a tech site full of Sheldons, it might be a good idea to throw in a [/sarcasm] at the end of the post ... just in case someone missed it.

Re:Free market.. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45952445)

That is another way to look at it. I think that's a fair point.

Well, there goes the internet as we knew it (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#45952193)

Hello AOL days again.

My cynical take. (5, Informative)

koan (80826) | about 7 months ago | (#45952209)

The FCC won't fight back, in fact this result was probably the intention along.

Prior to joining the FCC, Chairman Wheeler was Managing Director at Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm investing in early stage Internet Protocol (IP)-based companies. He served as President and CEO of Shiloh Group, LLC, a strategy development and private investment company specializing in telecommunications services and co-founded SmartBrief, the internet’s largest electronic information service for vertical markets. From 1976 to 1984, Chairman Wheeler was associated with the National Cable Television Association (NCTA), where he was President and CEO from 1979 to 1984. Following NCTA, Chairman Wheeler was CEO of several high tech companies, including the first company to offer high speed delivery of data to home computers and the first digital video satellite service. From 1992 to 2004, Chairman Wheeler served as President and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

http://www.fcc.gov/leadership/tom-wheeler [fcc.gov]

NWO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952243)

They want this so badly since its a game changer for the ones who have $$$ lets hope FCC have the power to go against this ruling.

Re:NWO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952597)

It is just a matter of getting them to be classified as a Common Carrier, then the ISPs will have their hands tied and have to treat all traffic fairly.

Sadly, as the transmissions aren't over the air into public spaces, but underground or on power poles, it may fall onto the States or Cities that own the land / poles to regulate these companies under threat if need be.

I know of people that can't stream anything after some change done by the ISP years ago. Caching isn't smooth, so the playback stopped all the time. Previous to that point it was constant, which it should be on the DSL line. I think it is an issue with their local office as they don't even want to push for what is considered Broadband in that area (128kbps max).

Bye Bye Netflix ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952307)

we hardly knew you!

Re:Bye Bye Netflix ... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 7 months ago | (#45952571)

Oh, they won't touch Netflix. ISPs aren't dumb - they know that preventing people from getting entertainment is the fastest way to a public uproar.

Re:Bye Bye Netflix ... (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 7 months ago | (#45952797)

No, they'll just gouge Netflix for a lot of money that could have been spent on content for us subscribers. The result is that the content cuts we've already started to see at Netflix will likely continue and get even worse.

Re:Bye Bye Netflix ... (1)

Antipater (2053064) | about 7 months ago | (#45953087)

I don't think so. That only works if Netflix is willing to sit there and take it. The Netflix "content cuts" have been mostly old movies that people watch on DVD anyway and TV shows that are available elsewhere - aka stuff they weren't making money on anyway. But if it comes to outright gouging, and they decide to actually put up a fight, all they have to do is post one paragraph on the front page:

Net Neutrality was overturned by court ruling recently, and so we are being forced to pay exorbitant fees to the ISPs to stay in business. As a result, the second season of Orange is the New Black has been canceled, and Breaking Bad will no longer be available for streaming.

Instant pitchfork brigade.

The FCC is screwed-up (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 7 months ago | (#45952401)

It sounds like this is a technicality because the FCC's rules are inconsistent with law. They need to fix them.

I am reposting this comment by "CakeStapler" from GizModo because it explains it well:

As we explain in this opinion, the Commission has established that section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 vests it with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure. The Commission, we further hold, has reasonably interpreted section 706 to empower it to promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic, and its justification for the specific rules at issue here—that they will preserve and facilitate the “virtuous circle” of innovation that has driven the explosive growth of the Internet—is reasonable and supported by substantial evidence. That said, even though the Commission has general authority to regulate in this arena, it may not impose requirements that contravene express statutory mandates. Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from nonetheless regulating them as such. Because the Commission has failed to establish that the anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules do not impose per se common carrier obligations, we vacate those portions of the Open Internet Order.

(Emphasis mine)

So, the FCC will remove their exemption from treatment as common carriers, reenact the regulations, and there's nothing to see here. 20 minutes ago

Re:The FCC is screwed-up (2)

Kohath (38547) | about 7 months ago | (#45952747)

Yet another government agency acting outside the law. Ho hum. Just a technicality.

Acting is accordance with the law is such a burden; when will our benevolent government overseers finally be free of it, once and for all?

Re:The FCC is screwed-up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45953003)

Not sure how to mod this - I don't see "+1 depressingly true sarcasm" in the options.

Re:The FCC is screwed-up (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 7 months ago | (#45952791)

So, the FCC will remove their exemption from treatment as common carriers, reenact the regulations, and there's nothing to see here

With Thomas Wheeler running the FCC? Good luck with that.

The future... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952413)

Everyone gets unlimited data provided they go to an approved closed garden.

Other sites will be accessible at insane rates. Torrenting will be destroyed.

Re:The future... (5, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | about 7 months ago | (#45952741)

The future: broadband packages sold like cable packages.

Basic: $59.99/mo gets you the top 100 websites like whatismyip.com (with commercials inserted before your IP is finally revealed), comcast.com, nbc.com, and 80 other websites you've never heard of nor would ever visit. All with added commercial interstitials.

Friends and Family: $89.99 gets you the basic package plus access to twitter, myspace and livejournal so you can share your experiences on The Comasticnet with all of your friends. Every third post is replaced with an ad, and every morning you automatically tweet how Comcastic your day is.

Movie Watcher: $129.99 gets you the basic package plus access to nbc.com streaming*. You can buy the netflix channel for an additional $10/mo and youtube SD for $5/mo or HD (720p videos only) for $10/mo. As a special deal you can sign up for Movie Watcher and Friends and Family for a low introductory price of $150/mo (*: standard rates only allow 24 hours of video streaming per month. Additional programming charged at pay per view rates of $5/MB)

Re:The future... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45952847)

" Torrenting will be destroyed."

Perhaps, but I know a guy called Nigel who will let you borrow his four-terabyte hard drive.

Drive sizes are only going to improve.

Well...... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 7 months ago | (#45952421)

The Internet was fun while it lasted....

Re:Well...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45953101)

Oh, don't worry, the internet will last. It's just that Americans won't have full access to it.

Can someone solve mesh networking, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952425)

And solve this problem for good?

Re:Can someone solve mesh networking, please? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#45952799)

The technology isn't the problem. It's immature, but the fundamentals are there and improvement is incremental from here on. The problem is node density. Go see if you can find three other people living within wireless range of your home who share your interest. It's statistically unlikely.

Re:Can someone solve mesh networking, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952883)

So get some startup to create routers that give you "free internet" or something like that. Surely there's a way to market it and get these devices. Target one city at a time, etc.... C'mon, does Anonymous Coward have to think of everything? ;-P

will this affect VPN providers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952449)

can the ISP now block access to commercial VPN providers in the USA?

Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952451)

Oh well, with NSA, GCHQ, and the Chinese stealing whatever they can from the 'net plus the Facebook/Google+ integration throughout all websites, it was only a matter of time.

Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#45952469)

The name "Net Neutrality" was always a sales tool to lure suckers into supporting it.

It was ALWAYS a tool to impose government control over the internet. It started out with a few harmless things, some seemingly beneficial, but with the end goal of more government say into how ISP's managed networks.

After the Snowden revelations, who among you wants ANY government say as to how ISP's should manage or route traffic? Anyone??

And all that to solve a problem that DOES NOT EXIST. There has NEVER been a single issue with ISP's that Net Nutrality regulations would have prevented away! So why have a useless regulation that increases costs for ISP's and gives the government a toehold into network management? It's nuts to support this in any way.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (4, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#45952655)

uh isp's were already throttling competing video services while not counting their own service against the throttle allowances.

that is quite simply the whole reason for the whole debate.

imagine if google as an isp would throttle netflix unusable and just allowing google video - or throttling bing search unusable. that's the scenario.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#45953169)

uh isp's were already throttling competing video services while not counting their own service against the throttle allowances.

WRONG.

ISP's were throttling ALL traffic equally, while sometimes offering local content that didn't get throttled BECAUSE IT WAS LOCAL.

Can you not understand why from a technical sense it is perfectly reasonable to offer local content unthrottled, when all content coming from external pipes has a cap?

That's just how networks work. Or it is until the government says you have to throttle local content to match the remote stuff. That is WORSE for consumers.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (3, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45952665)

It was ALWAYS a tool to impose government control over the internet.

Yeah, it's not like the government had control over the Internet before. Except for:
- when it was run by the Department of Defense for the early part of its existence
- when it was opened up to the public by then-Senator Al Gore and placed under the jurisdiction of the FCC
- when they paid AT&T to build and improve the network
- when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton tried to stop all Internet pornography
- when the FBI created Echelon under the Clinton administration
- when Admiral Poindexter started the Total Information Awareness project in 2001
- when the NSA cooperated with Google and AT&T and Verizon and a bunch of other major corporations to spy on everybody..

So clearly Net Neutrality was the thin wedge that was going to give government control of the Internet, right?

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952679)

You haven't seen any cases because there was this thing called "Net Neutrality" that wouldn't let the things "Net Neutrality" protects you from happen.

Oh shut the fuck up, you retard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952699)

No, "Net Neutrality" means "Keep the laws going that were in place before".

The laws, unlike many, had a sunset clause, and the sun set, and the law was still definitely needed, so they had to make laws to put the regulations back in.

THIS IS FUCK ALL to do with "a tool to impose government control over the internet.", the only tool here is YOU.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 7 months ago | (#45952785)

No Net neutrality was a actually good and is kind of the opposite of what you're saying.

The key is here:
  'Given that the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers'

The commission was corrupted by the RIAA/MPAA to make ISPs different to common carriers, as that makes them responsible for the actual data they pass. So now the RIAA/MPAA can act as the censors of the whole internet and make all ISPs have to prevent access to any data or site they alone decide is 'undesireable', which amounts to anything from business competitiors like the Pirate Bay etc.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (2)

prelelat (201821) | about 7 months ago | (#45952809)

You trolling me? Net Neutrality was preventative to say that it never stopped anything is like saying that stoplight never stopped anyone from T-boning someone. It didn't happen because the FCC didn't allow it to. I believe most if not all the major ISP's were hoping to have a tiered system and have been saying so for years. It's well documented their lobbying on the matter.

As for the Snowden bullshit do you think for a second that just by not having net neutrality corporations are not going to hand over information to the NSA? Government is going to be involved in data traffic regardless of who is the carrier and how they handle it. They could care less in that regard. That will change nothing with privacy at all. So why allow companies to fuck everyone over with their large oligopoly.

Re:Net Neutrality was BAD. Full stop. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#45953111)

There were NO problems before the FCC introduced the rule. How do you explain that Einstein?

So you want corporations to control the Internet? (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | about 7 months ago | (#45953069)

Corporations are legal fictions that are run in the manner that the government allows them to be run. Is putting them in charge of the Internet better?

Couldn't help it... (1)

kjshark (312401) | about 7 months ago | (#45952669)

I for one, welcome our new corporate overlords.

Which "net neutrality" was this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952701)

Over the years there have been two competing versions of "net neutrality" -- the one that favors content producers / distributors, and the one that one that favors consumers.

Which one is this story about?

Common Carrier Status (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45952967)

So, if they aren't common carriers based on this ruling, does that mean that they are now liable for all the traffic that passes over the network including child porn or other illegal materials?

Full spectrum corporate domination... (3, Insightful)

matbury (3458347) | about 7 months ago | (#45953081)

What part of full spectrum corporate domination don't you get? It's oligarchies all the way!
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